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Richard Larsen: No Substantive Difference Between Socialists and Democrats

August 23rd, 2015 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Sometimes what’s not said in response to a direct inquiry is more noteworthy than what is said. When the chairman of the Democrat National Committee was asked recently what the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist was, she sidestepped the issue and went a totally divergent direction. It would have provided a valuable service if she’d answered the question directly, for there seems to be no substantive distinction.

“What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The DNC chairman started to laugh, so Matthews tried again. “I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think?” Wasserman-Schultz started to sidestep the issue again, so Matthews tried a third time. “Yeah, but what’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist? You’re the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.” Intentionally avoiding Matthew’s question, she responded, “The difference between—the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican.” Her dogmatically superficial and fallacious explication ensued.

A little later, NBC’s Chuck Todd, on “Meet the Press,” asked the same question, which she responded to very similarly, choosing to answer a question not asked. But when the Matthews interview is looked at contextually, she may have already answered the question, when she called Bernie Sanders “a good Democrat.”

That’s a significant statement even at face value, for Bernie Sanders, the junior senator from Vermont, and a Democrat candidate for president, is a self-avowed socialist. He’s officially an Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and votes with them 98% of the time, according to

The significance increases further when Sander’s burgeoning popularity in the Democrat presidential polls is analyzed. Having started out in single-digit support just two months ago, Sanders has significantly reduced frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s lead. In Sander’s neighboring state of New Hampshire, one of the early voting states, Sanders now leads Clinton by 7%. Considering only 38% of Americans feel Clinton is “trustworthy,” it’s surprising the former Secretary of State has any lead in any polls, anywhere.

Sanders is attracting larger campaign crowds than any of the other presidential candidates. Earlier this week he attracted nearly 28,000 in Los Angeles, 28,000 in Portland, Oregon, and over 15,000 in Seattle.

When looking at his proposals, it’s difficult to identify any substantive differences from mainstream Democrat Party doctrine. Sanders is pushing for universal single-payer health care; supports redistribution of wealth; advocates “free” college; fosters an antipathy toward corporations and “big business;” wants military spending cut by 50%; opposes natural resource development for energy; advocates government control and solutions for all economic or cultural challenges; and emphasizes egalitarianism rather than merit and achievement.

These tenets fit comfortably under the socialist umbrella, which, in general terms, is “An economic and political system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production. Socialism emphasizes equality rather than achievement, and values workers by the amount of time they put in rather than by the amount of value they produce. It also makes individuals dependent on the state for everything from food to health care. While capitalism is based on a price system, profit and loss and private property rights, socialism is based on bureaucratic central planning and collective ownership,” according to Investopedia.

There are some distinctions that should be made, however. The American variety of socialism (liberalism and progressivism) has a democratic component that doesn’t require a revolution, as many of the European and Asian models featured, but rather relies upon a democratic vote to incorporate. This necessitates the means to organize communities and proliferate propaganda, in order to effect electoral change. Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” rose in direct response to that need, as a playbook for societal polarization and proliferation of socialist objectives. And perhaps not coincidentally, Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College on the Alinsky model, and President Obama taught it as a community organizer, and has implemented it to perfection nationally.

Jason Riley, a Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, “Mr. Sanders’s socialism appeals mainly to upper-middle-class professionals and fits neatly within the parameters of mainstream, income-inequality-obsessed Democratic politics in the 21st century. He may have an affinity for a political ideology that has given the world everything from the Soviet Gulag to modern-day Greece, but in this age of Obama, the senator is just another liberal with a statist agenda.”

Founded in individual liberty, America has always been the one nation under heaven where equality of opportunity has taken precedence over equality of outcome. The whole concept of the “American Dream” is based on the individual freedom to become, to achieve, to build, sell, and succeed. This requires individual freedom (which is diminished proportionate to expanded governmental power), and a free market economy (not centralized planning, or government control over the means of production). Consequently, socialism is philosophically, morally, and pragmatically, antithetical to American values. Deductively, it is clearly anti-American.

Which brings us back to the chairman of the DNC. With the apparent inability to make any substantive distinction between the major tenets of socialism and the contemporary Democrat Party, it’s perfectly understandable that Wasserman-Shultz would not attempt to note any contradistinction. For as Riley observed in his WSJ piece, “These days, it’s largely a distinction without a difference.”

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: America – Founded in Liberty, Evolved and Mired in Tyranny

August 13th, 2015 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

“The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period…The United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.” So declared George Washington at the time of our founding as a nation.

It is unique and exceptional that this nation was established according natural law, and declared inalienable individual rights of life, liberty, and property, or the pursuit of happiness. In an era when monarchs, rulers, oligarchs, autocrats and aristocrats governed according to their whims and disposition, having derived their right to rule based on caste or bloodline, a motley collection of men steeped in classical-liberal principles led a revolution and established a nation dedicated to individual freedom.

Those precepts were the foundation to the Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” There is nothing more exceptional in human history than those two sentences and the nation that resulted from their utterance: a nation that derived its “just” powers from the “consent of the governed.”

A decade later, the structural document creating the governmental framework based on the tenets articulated in the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the colonies. That document, our Constitution, stated specifically as enumerated powers, what our national government could do, and whatever powers were not specified or enumerated, were “reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”

But even at the nascent stages of the American experiment, the author of liberty, Thomas Jefferson, saw how our system would metamorphose into something entirely different. “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

What started as a small list of enumerated powers in the Constitution, has evolved to hundreds of thousands of pages of laws and regulations in the Federal Register, and a government that has debt greater than the entire gross domestic product of the nation. Laws have become so obtrusive that in any given day, millions of our fellow citizens can unwittingly commit “crimes” against the state, as documented in the Alan Dershowitz and Harvey Silverglate book, “Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.”

We are so far removed from our foundation of individual liberty, that literally every action of every day that we engage in is regulated, taxed, or overseen by an omnipotent Master governing its peon subjects. The tyrannical control of our lives far, far exceeds the relatively minor transgressions of King George against our founding colonists.

Political scientist Theodore Lowi attested to this devolution from liberty to governmental tyranny, forty years ago in his book “The End of Liberalism.” He empirically documented that “modern liberalism has left us with a government that is unlimited in scope but formless in action.” He illustrated how such a government “can neither plan nor achieve justice because liberalism replaces planning with bargaining and creates a regime of policy without law.”

With such a noose of governmental control around the throat of the country, it’s amazing that anything can be produced, sold, or used, for as government grows in scope, power, and control, individual liberty is diminished and quashed. It’s a testimonial to the viability of capitalism that even under such oppressive regulatory control of the means of production that we can still eek out a modicum of GDP growth.

Government is increasingly looked to as the benevolent patriarch that can bestow “rights” and entitlements to a beseeching clientele, diminishing the liberty, rights, and privileges, of another. In short, we have a new master and we are all its subjects.

The cost of this bloating and egregious governmental power is great, and the cumulative cost can literally destroy a nation financially. Greece typifies this collapse, with several European nations not far behind. As columnist and author Dennis Praeger has said, “Countries will either shrink the size of their government, or they will eventually collapse economically. Every welfare state is a Ponzi scheme, relying on new payers to pay previous payers. Like the Ponzi scheme, when it runs out of new payers, the scheme collapses. European countries, all of which are welfare states, are already experiencing this problem to varying degrees.”

Can we ever reverse this course, and make a strong case for liberty again? It won’t be easy. For every dole paid out by our federal master, there is a clientele that would vociferously denounce any effort at reduction. In a representative democracy, the most vocal citizens appropriate to themselves more attention from the powers that be. But if the nation is to survive financially, the trend must be reversed.

This will require a resolute and informed electorate that is more vocal than the beneficiary recipients of our nanny-state master’s noblesse oblige. But if we’re to prevent the otherwise inevitable collapse of our currency, our economy, and the nation, we must muster the will and determination to begin shrinking the scope and cost of government. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The best government is that which governs least.” It’s also more likely to endure.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Donald Trump, Another Narcissistic Liberal?

August 6th, 2015 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

After seven years of a narcissistic president, the last thing the nation needs is another four. Donald Trump has all the same outward egocentric manifestations to which we’ve become accustomed. The problem with politicians imbued with such characteristics, is that everything they do is all about them, not those whom they are elected to serve, or the Constitution to which they take an oath of fealty.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a psychologist by profession, has said it’s clear that the current inhabitant of 1600 Pennsylvania Av. is a narcissist. “This is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials — I’d like to introduce my secretary of state. He refers to ‘my intelligence community.’ And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military.’ For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon. He does have this sense of this all being a drama about him, and everybody else is just sort of part of the stage.”

Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the “Malignant Self Love,” and an expert on narcissism, concurs. Vaknin says, “Obama’s language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the president is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. After listing several 20th century examples, he explains how they all “created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers.”

He elaborated, “For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself? [Explaining why Obama had written an autobiography before he’d accomplished anything.] Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience.”

And now we have the bombastic, egocentric real estate mogul from New York mirroring the self-absorption seemingly endemic with our 44th president. And he’s already setting some records with his self-congratulatory rhetoric.

“I’m really rich.” “I’m proud of my net worth.” “I’ve done an amazing job.” “I’m really proud of my success. I really am.” “I’m not doing that to brag because you know what? I don’t have to brag.” But he just can’t seem to help himself! And so Donald Trump self-adulated himself 257 times in his 45 minute presidential bid announcement speech last month. That even exceeded Obama’s 208 self-laudatory references in his 22 minute, 2007 presidential announcement. That’s pretty impressive when you can out-“narcissize” the Narcissist In Chief!

But aside from his egocentrism, the most glaring verity related to Trump’s presidential bid is that he doesn’t belong on the Republican ticket. He clearly is not a conservative, and probably aligns ideologically much more with Bernie Sanders than he does with any of the other 15 candidates on the Republican ticket.

Over the years, Trump has been a proponent for single-payer government funded healthcare, a socialistic step to the left of Obamacare. He’s been a supporter of abortion, has advocated an assault weapons ban, and has even floated the idea of forcing the rich to forfeit 14% of their total wealth to reduce the federal debt.

He has donated heavily to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, and to the Clinton Foundation. And when he married his third wife in 2005, Bill and Hillary were on his guest list. And his financial support for Democrat House and Senate candidates has far eclipsed what he’s donated on GOP candidates.

According to public campaign disclosures, 21 of Trump’s 30 political donations have gone to liberal Democrats and political action committees. Only seven went to Republicans, and two went to Charlie Crist, who, like Trump, doesn’t seem to know which party he belongs to.

And in 2008, he sounded just like every other progressive in the nation, bemoaning George W. Bush’s presidency, when Trump alleged, “He was so incompetent, so bad, so evil.” Trump went on to call Bush “maybe the worst president in the history of this country.”

In light of his possible xenophobic comments regarding illegal aliens, it’s ironic what Trump said after the 2012 election. He claimed Republicans would “continue to lose elections if they came across as mean-spirited and unwelcoming to people of color.”

Trump’s primary function in the Republican presidential primary process seems to be to function as a media lightning rod. Ninety percent of the media coverage on the GOP candidates is on the Donald, which means he’s literally sucking the air out of the race of the fifteen other legitimate candidates.

So why is Trump polling so well in these early stages of the presidential sweepstakes? It pains me to say, really. But the only logical explanation is that regrettably even a fairly significant minority of conservatives can be deceived by the grandiloquence and fierce independence of a self-congratulatory narcissist, in spite of obvious ideological contradictions. A couple of pet issues that resonate with conservatives on a populist level, and a strident, even blunt, speaking style, and too many citizens can temporarily allow emotion to supersede logic.

At least let’s hope it’s a temporary condition. What a travesty it would be if someone like Trump became the party standard bearer in a year when so many truly qualified conservatives are on the ticket, orr worse yet, if he became a third-party candidate that siphoned off enough votes to give the election to the control freak on the Democrat ticket.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Crapo and Risch Call for HHS Investigation

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho’s two U.S. Senators issued a joint press release today, calling upon the Secretary of Health & Human Services to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is violating federal law with its program of harvesting the tissue and organs of preborn children after abortions. The two videos released so far showing discussions with senior Planned Parenthood officials strongly suggest that America’s largest abortion provider is intentionally manipulating women into undergoing later-term abortions in order to harvest more mature organs. In addition, the description of abortion techniques by these same officials seems to be referring to Partial Birth Abortions, a procedure outlawed by both federal and state statute.


July 23, 2015

Contact: Lindsay Nothern (Crapo), 208-344-1776

Suzanne Wrasse (Risch), 202-224-8078

Crapo, Risch Join Group of 50 Senators Raising Concerns with Planned Parenthood Practices

Senators call on HHS Secretary to comply with investigations, conduct assessment to facilitate congressional review

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch this week joined a bipartisan group of senators in calling on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to get to the bottom of what has been going on at Planned Parenthood. In a letter to the Secretary, the Senators draw attention to the legal, ethical and policy issues raised by the recent video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies.

“The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions,” the senators wrote. “In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.”

The senators also requested that the Secretary confirm the commencement or immediate initiation of “a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements.”

The full text of the senators’ letter can be found here.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Risch Issues Statement on Planned Parenthood Scandal

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

I am shocked by the callous disregard for human life Planned Parenthood senior officials exhibit in recent videos. Their heinous and atrocious violations against a human life are outrageous. These conversations are proof positive this organization has no regard when it comes to the life of a baby.

Nearly all of my Republican colleagues and I sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking for Planned Parenthood to be investigated on whether it has violated federal regulations. HHS awards federal grants to Planned Parenthood. The letter also asks HHS to conduct an internal review of its compliance with related government regulations.

I am strongly pro-life and always have been.

During my time as Idaho’s governor, lieutenant governor and state senator, I worked to restore Idaho’s unborn citizens to full recognition and protection under the law. As a United States senator, I am working to do everything I can to promote and protect the sanctity of life here and abroad.

I cannot and will not support legislation that would destroy a human’s most basic right–the right to life. This includes voting against government funding that would be used for promoting or performing abortions and that includes voting against Planned Parenthood funding.

– U.S. Senator James Risch, (R-Idaho)

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Press Release: Labrador Condemns Planned Parenthood Organ Harvesting

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

Labrador Condemns Planned Parenthood Organ Harvesting
Posted: 21 Jul 2015 06:51 PM PDT



Tuesday | July 21, 2015 Dan Popkey – 208-800-1565


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, issued this statement after watching videos showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal organs:

“I am sickened and disgusted by the inhumane attitude Planned Parenthood officials displayed as they discussed the sale of aborted fetuses over lunch. Their attitude towards human life should be condemned. I believe that all life is sacred, and should not be for sale. The fact that these officials view aborted fetuses as mere commodities is a sad commentary on our society.

“As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I will participate in a vigorous investigation into whether Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the sale of organs and body parts from aborted babies. Nothing is more sacred than human life. Indifference to these grotesque practices demeans every American, regardless of their view on abortion.

“These videos pull back the curtain on the horrors of the abortion industry. Today I am joining as a cosponsor of a new bill, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, to place a one-year moratorium on any federal funding of Planned Parenthood. I also urge the Senate to schedule a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support in May.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Tissue of Jewish Victims Found in France

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A number of news organizations have reported on a macabre discovery at the Strasbourg Medical Institute, located in Strasbourg, France. Tissue samples, carefully collected from the victims of the Nazi holocaust for medical research, were acknowledged to exist by research center just this week. Turns out the vials contained such things as skin samples, and tissue from various victim organs – like liver, stomach, intestines.

The human experimental tissue was carefully marked with the matching identifying numbers from the tattoos used to track each of Jewish victims of the Nazi assault on humanity some 70 years ago.

According to news reports, the human tissue was originally collected for the medical experiments of an SS officer and doctor, August Hirt.

The current research director of Institute, Raphael Toledano, explained that the superb Nazi record keeping system allowed him to connect the tissue samples with 86 specific victims of the Holocaust.

We bring this story to your attention because it seems horribly connected to the recent revelations of Planned Parenthood’s dark practice of harvesting and selling tissue and organs from carefully destroyed human babies. Like the Nazi researchers before them, Planned Parenthood has justified such unethical conduct as “advancing medical science”.

Many people who have viewed the luncheon meeting of Dr. Deborah Nucatola have been dumbfounded: How can a person so casually discuss the dismemberment of a human baby while sipping a glass of red wine? How could anyone talk about harvesting livers and hearts from defenseless babies to meet the growing demand from medical research companies while chewing down a lovely Caesar salad at a high class restaurant?

The truthful answer is similar to the one to be discovered by confronting the evil of the Nazi regime. There is a powerful movie available on cable which recreates the scene of key Nazi leaders meeting at “liberated” Jewish mansion outside Berlin in about 1943 to discuss the “Final Solution” over wine and the most delectable cakes and sandwiches. The viewer is left wondering how men could talk about the destruction of millions of human beings while slurping down the finest wine? The answer, in part, is that Nazi leaders had convinced themselves that Jews were actually not people. They were vermin, who could be used, temporarily, for profit. Likewise the folks over at Planned Parenthood look at preborn human children as some kind of virus to be cleansed.

In the wake of WWII, civilization rose up to deliver a considered moral judgment on the madness of Nazism. Trials were held at Nuremburg – including a series of trials known as the Nuremburg Medical Trials. We will write more about the relevance of this history to today’s scandal involving Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of human tissue and organs. It seems that we have lost the wisdom we purchased at such a terrible high price.

But the question we must ask ourselves right now is simple: What is the moral difference between the conduct of Nazi medical researchers and Planned Parenthood?

Will we allow this gross abuse of humanity to stand in our America?

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Obama’s Flawed Logic on Iran’s Nuke Deal

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

It’s disturbing to witness the collapse of logic, especially when perpetrated by our own president. After all, if we were to believe what so many of his devotees claim prima facie, he’s among the smartest on the planet. But his nuclear deal with Iran proves to the contrary; not just by its terms, but his illogic in support of it.

President Obama said this week, with regard to the agreement inked with Iran, “There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are—those are the options.” There are so many more options available, that even he should be aware of, yet he’s reduced to employing the common false dichotomy, or fallacy of bifurcation, in support of it. But it explains his inanity in signing a deal that all but assures a nuclear Iran in the foreseeable future, and further underscores why Obamacare was foisted upon the nation; to him, there are but two options – his way or no way at all.

Obama added that no better deal was or is possible than the one he has negotiated. Since the bargaining table was approached from a position of weakness, acquiescence, and appeasement, he’s likely correct. But if the process had been approached from a position of strength, like Reagan did with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, then the final agreement would have been much more inhibiting to Iranian nuclear ambitions, and we, and our allies, could have come away from the negotiations feeling much safer and assured.

Then he had the temerity to claim that “99% of the world community” agrees with him. Now watch, that fabricated percentage will become his new selling argument to the Senate as they consider the final agreement, much like the fake and discredited claim of “97% scientific agreement” on manmade climate change.

Obama has claimed that this deal was necessary at this time since the U.S. initiated economic sanctions were not working. Actually they were working. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Iran had an official inflation rate of some 35%, its currency was falling, and its dollar reserves were estimated to be down to $20 billion. Mr. Obama had resisted those sanctions, only to take credit for them when Congress insisted and they began to show results in Tehran.”

The WSJ editorial continued, “Yet Mr. Obama still resisted calls to put maximum pressure on Iran. He gave waivers to countries like Japan to import Iranian oil. He was reluctant to impose sanctions on global financial institutions that did business with Iran (especially Chinese banks that offered Tehran access to foreign currency). The U.S. could have gone much further to blacklist parts of Iran’s economy run by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. A bipartisan majority in Congress was prepared to impose more sanctions this year, but Mr. Obama refused as he rushed for a second-term deal.”

All one has to do to ascertain the perceived victors from the now concluded negotiations, is observe reactions by the effected nations. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in Iran, while even Democrat senators bemoaned the terms of the deal. Israel’s Prime Minister voiced perhaps the most logical response. Benjamin Netanyahu, said of the agreement, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted,” and called the agreement a “historic mistake.”

Even Obama conceded that the agreement doesn’t prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, but only delays it. In a July 14th interview with NPR (National Public Radio), the president said that Iran’s uranium enrichment would be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms, which is not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade material. He then revealed, “What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero,” Obama said. The “breakout time” refers to how quickly uranium enrichment for power can be converted to unabated enrichment for nuclear weapons.

The inspection protocol elicits no confidence whatsoever. In spite of Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes’ assurance just three months ago that, “In the first place we will have anytime, anywhere access [to] nuclear facilities,” the agreement grants a 24 day time table for Iran to dispose of evidence before an inspection can occur. That’s like giving drug cartels three weeks notice that a suspected drug manufacturing site will be raided!

Nearly as disturbing, is the provision that lifts the U.N. arms embargo against Iran. After five years Iran’s thirst for conventional arms can be sated, and their hunger for ballistic missile programs satisfied in eight years. So in five years, Iran can buy all the weapons it wants, for its own defense or the terrorist organizations they bankroll, like Hezbollah, and in eight years they can have a fully funded ICBM program. And in 13 years they can have a functional nuclear warhead to adorn their missiles. Now isn’t that assuring?

The President also claimed that “no one has presented any alternatives” to his plan. All I can say is, it must be nice to live in a vacuous tunnel where the only voice one hears is their own, and those who echo his! If negotiations had been approached from a position of strength, we would have four Americans on the way home, rather than continuing to languish as political prisoners in Iranian prisons. And we could have required that not a single Rial of the $150 billion of Iranian deposits freed up from U.S. banks, could be used to support terrorist activities and Hezbollah. There were many, many more options than the one Obama settled for.

The Iranian nuke deal comes down to a matter of trust. Can Iran be trusted to curtail their nuclear ambitions and abide by the diluted impositions on their aspirations, and can the president be trusted in representing our interests in securing our national security. The answer is clearly an emphatic “no,” on both counts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

David Ripley: America Faces a Crucial Decision Point

July 18th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A firestorm has been lit by the release of a video showing Planned Parenthood actively involved in the gruesome business of harvesting, packaging, marketing and selling body parts and human tissue harvested from the thousands of babies it destroys each day.

Many talking heads are rightly outraged. Plenty of fresh material for bloggers, presidential candidates and talk show hosts. And, certainly, in the Age of Obama, the last thing Americans need is more cause for outrage: the bucket is overflowing.

But this issue is different. This outrage carries with it tremendous spiritual and societal consequence.

What happens now?

We are guaranteed to have a week or so of media attention and discussion regarding the true scope of evil surrounding Planned Parenthood and legalized abortion in America. We believe God has created a window, has pulled back the curtain on the institutionalized evil in our midst. But after the shock passes, what will America do about this heinous practice?

Will we simply turn the page? Go back to our comfortable space and pretend this is not happening?

Will we allow ourselves to be too disgusted to turn our outrage into persistent, undeniable demands for action by our government and elected officials? Will Planned Parenthood be brought to account? Will Congress enact legislation to clearly prohibit the disgusting practice of trafficking in human remains for profit? Will they move to strip these gangsters of all public tax subsidy?

In short: Now that this huge morsel of evil is in our mouths … will we spit it out as the moral poison it is? Or will we allow ourselves to swallow another chunk of evil, going back to the ball game, movie or even a discussion of any other political issue beside abortion and its broad bevy of consequence?

If we collectively digest this evil, America will fall another ten or twenty fathoms into the moral abyss. One would be left to wonder what obscenity or practice Planned Parenthood could commit that would finally be “too much” for our collective conscience to bear.

Of course, the sale and marketing of fetal tissue pales in comparison to the industrialized slaughter of the babies themselves. But it is a concrete place from which to reinvigorate our battle against evil.

So what is to be done?

First, we ask you to speak, personally, with your pastor or priest. We need the moral leadership of our clergy to confront this evil and to rally the Body of Christ to concrete action.

Second, we need to call upon on our Congressional delegation to ensure that there are broad investigations into this practice on a national scale – by both the House and Senate.

Third, we call upon Governor Otter and Attorney General Wasden to launch independent, state-based investigations into the practices of Planned Parenthood here in Idaho. This is likely a criminal conspiracy, and it must be taken seriously at the local, as well as the national, level. Not only is the trafficking in human tissue-for-profit illegal – the evidence produced thus far strongly suggests that Planned Parenthood may be violating the national and state bans on Partial Birth Abortions. The state must also make demand on Planned Parenthood to establish whether the mothers involved in aborting their children have given informed consent regarding the harvesting and sale of their baby’s remains to various research firms and universities.

Will YOU take a moment to pick up the phone and demand action from your elected officials and pastors?

May God save us from spiritual lethargy at this critical hour.

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Richard Larsen: Religious Freedom, Whither Goest Thou?

July 18th, 2015 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage two weeks ago extend far beyond the institution of marriage itself. With the ruling, people of faith are perhaps intentionally set in the crosshairs of an intolerant, fascistic secular movement on the left that proscribes adherence to religion-based tenets which are thought to be antithetical to their secular, politically correct, orthodoxy.

Government treatment of religious institutions will inevitably change as a result of the ruling. During oral arguments before the court in April, Solicitor General Donald Verrelli, arguing the administration’s case for same-sex marriage, responded to an inquiry from Justice Samuel Alito, verifying the religious institution conundrum. Verrilli responded, “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.”

That issue is rearing its ugly head with increasing frequency. A Christian cake-baker in Oregon, citing their faith as justification, declined baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. As a result, the state Bureau of Labor slapped the proprietors, Aaron and Melissa Klein, with a $135,000 penalty for declining the request. The nuptials claimed they had been “mentally raped” by the Klein’s refusal to bake their cake. The state has also issued a gag order, disallowing the cake shop proprietors from talking about the case. It was not enough for the state of Oregon to deny free exercise of the Klein’s religion, but with the gag order, stripped them of their freedom of speech as well.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s happening all over the country. Some church ministers are now reluctant even to express explicit support for traditional marriage or denounce homosexuality from the pulpit, for fear of recrimination from the Rainbow Mafia and excoriation from the mainstream media. As fundamental as the traditional definition of marriage is to society, and to biblical dogma, this is tantamount to restricting discourses on the Decalogue from the rostrum.

It seems there’s a segment of the population that is so intent on making sure the whole world is tolerant toward their favored group, that they’re willing to be intolerant themselves toward those of disparate convictions. In other words, they themselves are bigoted toward those to whom they allege bigotry. And fearful that the Christian world may “force their will” upon them, the Rainbow fascists have no compunction about forcing their ideology on the rest of society. Like William F. Buckley said years ago, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

If tolerance is a virtue, it is one that should be demanded of both sides of an issue, not just the politically incorrect one. And if bigotry, (intolerance of those who hold different opinions), is to be abhorred by society, it must be equally abhorred by the politically correct crowd.

And even though the state of Oregon denies it, there is this pesky “guaranteed” right of free exercise of religion. Unlike the assumed “right” to marry whoever or whatever one desires to, free exercise of religion is actually written into the Constitution with the First Amendment. But it’s no wonder so many people, even government officials in Oregon, are so ignorant of the Bill of Rights. A recent poll indicates that only 19% of the American populace knows that the Constitution guarantees free exercise of religion.

So now with the strident, politically correct movement afoot across the fruited plain, and the fascistic, bullying enforcement of the Rainbow totalitarians, assumed (not even implicit) rights trump guaranteed (explicit) rights embedded in our nation’s founding documents! And yet to think these elected officials place their left hands on the Bible, raising the right arm to the square, and solemnly swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The hypocrisy and duplicity is so conspicuous that only in the face of such a constitutionally illiterate population could they assume to have any credibility whatsoever.

The Liberty Institute published a report last year, before all of these latest assaults on religious liberty, titled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion,” which documented over 1,200 recent cases of hostility toward people and institutions of faith. These battles are not being waged by the right, but by the left, that faction of the political spectrum that avers such tolerance and “open-mindedness.” That segment that is so fearful of the guaranteed right of freedom to exercise one’s religion, that they force their own secular religion of political correctness upon those whom they denounce excoriatingly.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in the Court’s ruling stated, “Those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” Chief Justice John Roberts, in the minority statement, acknowledged the imminent dilution of religious rights resulting from the Court’s ruling. He wrote, “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise‘ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

In an age where presumed rights trump assured constitutional rights, we can only assume the bullying from the left will accelerate as their own bigotry continues to eviscerate religious freedom. Perhaps Christian churches should adopt some of the tenets of Islam, like the death penalty for sodomy, for the secular left displays much greater tolerance toward Islam than Christianity.

When presumed “rights” take supremacy over explicit, constitutionally assured rights, we are no longer a nation governed by the rule of law. We have morphed to a fascistic, bullying system ruled by the capricious expectations of the prevailing politically correct crowd, bolstered by judicial fiat, and enforced by a seemingly omnipotent government. The secular left has won another round, but the assault against our constitutionally assured liberties is far from over!

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